Decision to drop Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown from Sheffield City Hall start of ‘very slippery slope’
The decision to pull the plug on controversial comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown’s show in Sheffield marks a start of a “very slippery slope”, a councillor has warned.
Lib Dem leader Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed said the decision taken by Sheffield City Trust “smacks of the nanny state” and “feels like living in a soviet era”.
Chubby Brown, a well known comic, was due to appear at Sheffield City Hall, run by the Sheffield City Trust, in January 2022 but the show was axed after concerns were raised about the nature of his material.
The 76-year-old, whose real name is Royston Vasey, has since spoken out, blaming 'snowflakes and political correctness' for his act being dropped from the calendar at a venue where he has performed for more than 30 years.
Coun Mohammed said: “This is akin to cold war soviets where they would control what people saw and what they watched and what they read. We don't live in that.
“We live in a liberal society and people have individual freedom to choose to live the life they want and as part of that, they can choose to go watch a comedy show behind closed doors where no children are allowed.”
Stressing that he himself is no fan of Roy ‘Chubby' Brown, he said he and the rest of the council have no business deciding what people should and should not watch.
He added: “It's the start of a very slippery slope. Which comedian will be deemed not to be appropriate to come to Sheffield?
“Would they move on to banning books and DVD's in libraries next? Would people be banned from watching Roy Chubby Brown on Youtube next? Would they stop people from listening to rap music because clearly some of the lyrics can and are offensive?
“Where is this going to stop? Our law is to defend the individual's right to choose and always go against any government that tries to dictate to people what's good or bad.”
The councillor said if anything said during a show was deemed ‘illegal’, the police could take action.
“However, we all know that will not happen because none of the content will be a criminal offence, so I don't see why adults can't go and make a choice,” said Coun Mohammed.
He also said the decision will set a dangerous precedent.
“Regardless of different opinions on Roy Chubby Brown, this should not be about him. Where do we go in the future, who else should we ban?” the councillor asked.
He said he is now looking for an answer from council leader Terry Fox as to whether councillors were consulted in the decision-making process.
And on Friday, September 10, a protest is to be held outside Sheffield City Hall in objection to the decision.
Despite mounting objections, Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield City Council, said they will continue to support Sheffield City Trust's position.